This morning, when Godfrey and I arrived in Kokrobite (King Appiah could not make it this morning), we head straight for Dizzy Lizzy’s for our (now) customary Pineapple Juice.
I leave Godfrey there, looking like he owns the place when I head over to Mr Brights to collect my surfboard.
The waves are small today, which means we will not be able to surf The Point (the long, slow waves I like. See Day#19 ) and will instead have to surf at the spot in front of Dizzy Lizzy’s (the fast, shallow waves I don’t like. See Day#13 ).
But then, it is just lovely being in the ocean. And even though the sea at Kokrobite is not unspoiled (it is quite polluted), it is still wonderful.
I was the first one in the water (which should tell you something about my forecast reading skills).
After an hour there were five of us.
I was happily sitting on my board, contemplating the next wave that would tumble me, when I feel a sting on my upper arm.
There is a large flying insect sitting on my arm. I flick him away, and he flies off.
Only to make a U-turn, a proceed into a dive. Aiming straight my face!
I roll off my board, with a shriek, and duck under the water.
Now, anyone who has ever hiked with me will tell you that I can do a hike in half the time if you just place a couple of bees along the way.
I love bees, but am terrified of being stung (childhood trauma that involved a church-bench and a bee). And this thing is much bigger than a bee!
When I come up for air, I am just in time to see him turn for his second attempt.
My second shriek is performed under water.
When I come up again, Ninaan ( See Day#13 ) shouts “It is a Tsetse Fly! Be careful!”
I start splashing water at the Tsetse Fly. But he is completely unphased. He just keeps coming.
And he does not get tired.
I carried on alternating between splashing water, and ducking under, for what felt like an eternity.
When he finally made peace with the fact that I was not going to be lunch (they live on blood), he flew off.
But for the remainder of the surf session, I was on half Vampire Alert, half Yawn Alert (Tsetse flies carry Sleeping Sickness).
When someone called my name a couple of minutes later, I threw myself under the water. And stayed there.
Turns out it wasn’t a Vampire Alert, it was someone saying hello. She must have thought we have strange greetings rituals here in Kokrobite.
Her name is Julia.
And she is also from South Africa!
Three guesses which town…
Have you guessed?
You will never guess.
Julia is from Muizenberg.
What are the chances?!!
For two Muizenbergers – who live two blocks apart, who both surf every weekend – to meet for the first time in the sea in Kokrobite!!
Julia summed up the Kokrobite surf experience well when she said:
“Isn’t it amazing. Not only are there only five people in the waves, here. But the locals actually encourage you to take waves.”
She’s right. The local surfers shout “paddle!” (not “my wave!”) whenever a good wave comes. And they cheer every time you catch one! (Which in my case, is not often.)
What’s more, when you get closer you realise that most of the local surfers’ surfboards and bodyboards are badly damaged, missing fins.
One board was actually broken in half and held together with some wire and string. But they surf. And they smile. And they shout “paddle!” when a wave comes.
We have so much to learn from these beautiful, kind Warrior Kings ( See Day#2 )